When Richard Nikoley decided to lose weight several years ago, he started by walking up to three miles a day and doing aerobic exercises, but instead of seeing a loss on the scale, he managed to gain 30 pounds. He had the fitness aspect of weight loss figured out but junk food and high fat choices were hampering his weight loss goals. Today, Rich has lost 65 pounds, all because he started eating, “real food.”
Before adopting his current eating style, which he describes as, “Similar to the Caveman or Paleo diet,” Richard noticed his refrigerator and pantry contained high fat and convenience foods. He admits to eating his fair share of pizza and giving in to the midnight munchies. Now, his diet is primarily made up of “meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits and small portions of nuts.” Another upside to feeding his body delicious muscle-building food is being able to add weight lifting to his exercise regimen. (more…)
About a year ago, I attended a cooking demonstration for a book called Dropping Acid: The Reflux Cookbook & Cure. A colleague invited me to the event after learning that I avoided coffee because it gives me heartburn.
I hoped the demonstration would give me some new ideas about what I could eat that wouldn’t give me heartburn. I had first been diagnosed with heartburn during college, after experiencing chest pain so severe it woke me up in the middle of the night. I vaguely knew that I shouldn’t eat citrus, drink excessively or eat spicy foods, but typically found it easier to pop a few Tums rather than think too much about my diet.
As Master Chef Marc Bauer demonstrated his recipes, Dr. Jamie Koufman, the principal author of Dropping Acid, also described the prevalence of acid reflux and some of its accompanying symptoms. As she spoke, I realized that I suffered from a number of other symptoms related to acid reflux in addition to heartburn: chronic hoarseness and coughing, the feeling of something stuck in my throat, and a voice that was easily fatigued. After the presentation, I was eager to speak with Dr. Koufman more, and requested an interview. After hearing about my symptoms and the sound of my raspy voice, she suggested I come to her office for treatment so that I could write my story from a patient’s perspective. I was so happy about the project that I nearly burst into tears while telling my mother about it on the phone later that night.
There’s a long list of things you shouldn’t drink if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn: orange juice, hot chocolate, carbonated beverages, lemonade, anything with mint and any bottled drinks with added acid. Water is really the best thing for people with reflux to drink, along with low-fat milk.
You may know that I have been undergoing treatment for acid reflux for about two months, under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Koufman at The Voice Institute of New York. Dr. Koufman is one of the authors of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure. I’m a big lover of tea, and I was happy to hear that there are still several varieties of teas that don’t trigger acid reflux. Some doctors might recommend that patients stay away from caffeine altogether, but Dr. Koufman says that a cup of tea (black, green or white) or coffee with milk per day is fine. It’s the people who drink “a fishbowl” of coffee each day who have a problem. Herbal teas like chamomile and rooibos are good, but any fruit-infused teas will be too acidic.
Okay, most of you probably aren’t that worried. But wouldn’t you like to know the difference between simple gas pains, and something much worse? In 2005, there were 445,687 deaths in the United States that were as a result of a heart attack or angina. That’s about one of every five deaths! So, maybe it is a good idea to know the difference, huh? (more…)